Toddler Child-minder Activities for Holidays

As a 10-year homeschooling mom of four, I know about multitasking with kids. The hardest age of child to keep productively occupied is toddler. Maybe I should rephrase "productive" to "occupied in parent-approved ways." Our kids were always productively employed, at least in their minds. From a parent's view it looked like mess-making. And during the holidays it only gets worse. More work, antsy kids, abnormal schedules, added events make it more challenging to keep a toddler in check. Here are parent-friendly, child-minder holiday activities. Read more

Best Christmas Gifts for Toddlers, Preschool Children

Choosing gifts for preschool children isn't always easy. You want a toy that's sturdy, multi-use and will stimulate creativity. If a child has Autism Spectrum Disorder, choosing the right gift may seem impossible. I teach autistic and emotionally impaired children and here is my list of best gifts for children with autism. Actually, these gifts are  appropriate for any toddler or preschool child. These toys build developmental skills (fine motor, gross motor, eye hand coordination). They also provide tactile, kinesthetic and oral stimulation so needed by young child. Best Gifts for Autistic Children

Free Printable Halloween Coloring Pages

Got antsy preschoolers looking forward to Halloween? Need some activities to keep them occupied as they count down to trick or treat? Here are free printable Halloween and trick-or-treat coloring pages for children. Not too scary and lots of fun, these coloring pages are geared for preschool and elementary age children. Great for home, homeschool, school or day care (hint: homeschool families, use these free printable crafts to keep younger kids actively engaged while you work with older kids). Free Printable Halloween Coloring Pages 

Montessori mom: At-home preschool practical life learning center

I'm a certified special needs teacher and a former home school parent. I also taught in a Montessori school. Both Montessori and special education follow a learning center-based classroom model. Learning centers (also called areas or stations), engage children in hands-on, multi-sensory tasks. Each center focuses on different activities: reading, math, science, building, gross motor, art, dramatic play and practical life. When I taught our kids at home, I brought the learning center concept into our home. If you've got preschool kids or are a home school parent, why not try the learning center approach? Here's how this Montessori mom set up a practical life learning area.  Montessori mom: At-home preschool practical life learning center

Preschool DIY Cardboard Knight Suit of Armor

Kids going back to school equals bored preschool siblings. Summer may get a little crazy, but at least with big sisters and brothers at home, the not-yet-in-school one is entertained. Now he sits by the window moping and waiting for the bus to bring them home. And if you're a WAHM, a preschooler or half-day kindergarten kid with ennui means less productivity.

Fear not. Your helpful fairy schoolteacher is here to help. Use your recycle bin and get junior busy making a super-cool cardboard knight costume (complete with arsenal of safe "weaponry). Kid will be happily occupied, you can work and siblings will be drooling with envy. Here's a guide to make a suit of armor worthy of any knight. read more

Free Printable Crafts, Learning Activities for Preschool Kids

When I was four, in 1968, my mother found a little activity book for me. I had to tear out perforated pictures and stick them in the appropriate areas, fill in charts and complete little tasks. As I recall it was a devotional book of some sort. I was supposed to do one page each day. I did the whole book in one morning and begged for another. I think of that book with wistful reverence. Now, with internet magic, we have free printable activities. Here are free printable preschool crafts from my inner child to your kids. read more


Free Printable Preschool Apple Lesson Plans


Apples are a common theme for preschool lesson plans. Teachers use apples in fall activities. Looking for free printable apple lessons? The Michigan Apples--Great Lakes, Great Flavors website has a free printable 166-page booklet filled with apple activities. Teachers and homeschooler parents, this free booklet has math, history, science, social studies, writing, vocabulary all based Michigan apples. Read on...

Readers, some of the links in this article may take you to a now-defunct site. My original article was written for Beta Yahoo Local which is no more. Please use the "Michigan Apples" or "read on" link. My apologies and thank you for your patience. 

Free Printable Preschool Car Games, Kids Activities


Are we there yet? This has to be the most oft-asked question from kids on car trips or vacations. When these questions start, it can make for a very long, tedious ride. That's why smart parents plan ahead in order to circumvent the complaints on car trips. Games make good boredom-busters and whining-stoppers. Here are free printable car games to stave off ennui and keep kids happily occupied on road trips. Free Printable Children's Car Games, Activities, Puzzles

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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